Some other people thought that when you’re a stay-at-home mom, you have all the time in the world to spend with your little one. Sometimes, my husband would innocently ask me “how was your day?” and I’d be defensively describe to him every work I’ve done. I barely even had a chance to brush my hair. The whole day has been spent with my son, yes, but not to play with him 24/7, but to attend to all his needs, and every mom knows that a little baby can be so demanding all the time.
Overtime, I learned how to manage my emotions while taking care of my baby. It can be overwhelming, especially on days when I have to look at the mirror, and see my eyebrows turning into unibrow, the tangled hair that looked like they’d all stick together forever, or the chapped lips that I haven’t had the chance to mind all week.
One great thing that I learned into being an effective mother is finding the happiness in each chores. Being mindful helps, which I try every time my mind wanders into the pile of tasks that I had in my to-do list each day. There would be nights when I would evaluate how I did that whole day, how it all ends up and what I have accomplished. I would be very disappointed on days when all I had done was fold up laundry and putting it away. After being mindful, I learned that I have to be easy on myself, and to remember even accomplishing the smallest chore is a success in its own way. Knowing that the clock is always ticking no matter how tiny or unimportant my job is, every second is spent and that’s enough for me to believe that I have been productive in some way.
This realizations made me appreciate each moment with my little son. I try to take chores that involves him and make it a bonding moment as much as possible. The best one is when I bathe him. Before, I would give him a quick bath: wet-soap-scrub-rinse, that single set of steps and done. But then, he’d start to enjoy being in the tub and played in it, and trying to get him out of the water right after rinsing would be a struggle. In my mind, though, we have to finish up bathing because I can’t wait t
o move on to the next thing I had to do. But my attempt to force him out of the bath tub takes up more energy and more time than the actual bathing, and we both get out of the bathroom upset and disappointed at each other, which then makes it hard for me to put fresh clothes on him, and ending up him wanting to be comforted and me nursing him to calmness. At the end, we would both be exhausted and I would find myself lying next to him, napping.
After a while, when I decided to be mindful, I started to let him play at the tub after the quick bath, until he has spent enough time in the water and would not be upset when I take him out. I would also watch him play, see him develop new skills, and check out his curiosity on how liquid works. I get to enjoy this simple moments, and after, it was so much easier to get him dressed, and he still have little energy left to play before nap time, which I would spend cleaning up the bathroom and doing other small chores until he’s tired and ready for a quick sleep.
There would also be times that I would take a bath with him, let him play at the tub while I take a bath myself, and after which, we’d both be fresh and clean, which is killing two tasks for the day.
Since then, I have believed at the power of being mindful, and saw that trying to multitask everything in my mind will always be a challenge to almost everyone in the house as it affects all the family members. Trying to be present at everything, be it small or big, always makes it easier and simpler for me, resulting to a more graceful mother who can run up the household in a very calm way.
Writing in buns,